Tuesday 23 April 2024


Please do not try to trace IronxLung's journey up to the release of "Riffstanbul", you will only end up confused bewildered and nursing a giant headache, IronxLung for starters have not always been IronxLung they were once Disciples of the Apocalypse and before that Hellfire Dawn and before that ....,(the list goes on). There have been releases as a trio, a duo and on occasions as a one man project, in fact the only constant throughout has been guitarist/vocalist/bassist Joshua Stanard. We could fill up this page with the various line-ups and releases that have led up to this current state of affairs but let's just concentrate on "Riffstanbul" (Tin Ghetto Records) an album that sees Stannard reuniting with his old sparring partner and original Disciples of the Apocalypse member Andres Logan (drums/electronics/vocals).

IronxLung jams a groove rooted in sludge, doom and progressive metal and features vocals that, despite their creaking guttural harshness, are surprisingly easy on the ear. Those, and we know there are a few, who balk at the words "sludge" and "harsh" might find themselves pleasantly surprised by the clarity of the vocals and grooves on display here especially when they come to the realisation that those grooves are not your bog standard walls of noise but are well thought out soundscapes that although in possession of their fair share of noisiness are at times exotic and, dare we say, delicate. There is a huge prog factor at play here too, songs like title track "Riffstanbul", the excellent "Plight of the Cannabinites",the caustic and gnarly "Belly Of A Whale", the bluesy and doomic "Petrified the Mind's Eye" and the two instrumentals "Damascus" and "Rev 21:4" are not just vehicles for crunching riffs and thunderous rhythms but are also in possessed of an array of intricate textures, musical colours and mind-blowing complexities. The musicianship throughout borders on stunning at times especially when the guttural vocals and crunching riffage takes a backseat and allow Stanard free reign to explore his inner guitar god with searing bluesy solos and ear-catching motifs, his axe wielding prowess ably supported by Logan's punchy solid drumming and occasional electronic squeals and squawks. 
For those for whom sludge has always been a bridge to far "Riffstanbul" might just be the album to draw you over to the dark side, if you don't like it you can always turn it off but we don't think you will.
Check it out ...... 

© 2024 Frazer Jones

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